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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:18 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Posts: 1636
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa

Gentlemen,

Just received the Project Upland Magazine Winter 2019 addition. Reading the article entitled The Father of Woodcock -Edmund Davis. Having read a few things about this sportsman/writer and his untimely death while hunting with his son, the article by Jay Dowd interested me greatly.

Davis was a big time Woodcock hunter his era, and wrote a book called Woodcock Shooting, which I have just acquired for my sports library. I never invested in this particular book, it was costly even when I was a young man. I do know GBE wrote the foreword for the book. I just purchased the book from a sportsman in England and am awaiting delivery. Do any of the members of our 16 forum know anything about his early writer/sportsman.

Having had a career as CID Special Agent, the untimely death of this sportsman interested me greatly. From the article in the PU magazine the mystery was ruled a hunting accident, however I have never known a seasoned sportsman, especially a bird hunter to look down the barrels of his loaded shotgun.

Can't wait to read Davis's Woodcock Shooting book, should be very interesting stuff, especially sense Davis's favorite double gun was a 16 gauge W&C Scott.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

L.C. Smith 16 gauge bird gun, America's Best - John Houchins

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PatrickB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:40 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 561
Location: Minnesota

I don't yet have that PU issue so not familiar with the article. The old (early 1900s) rare book "Woodcock Shooting" by Edmund Davis was self published at the time. Can't recall but thought the book was republished in the 1980s. The original, which I've read, is free online.

https://archive.org/details/woodcockshooting00davi
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Dave in Maine
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:28 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Sep 2010
Posts: 1747
Location: Maine

On the safety front, I also do not know of anyone who intentionally looked down the barrels of his loaded shotgun.

I am, OTOH, aware of a couple incidents where people negligently blew off either their head or body parts.

6 or 7 years ago I was called on to evaluate a nice Russian-made 20 ga hammergun that was consigned for sale. It turned out to be pre-Revolution. The seller consigned it because he'd given up hunting.

He had been hunting hares in a remote corner of Maine in conditions where he had to wear snowshoes to get around. His hounds were on a hare and he saw a nice open area where he could get a better shot so he shuffled over there. What he couldn't have seen (or saw and didn't register) was that the open area was a beaver swamp and the snow was very loose over all the vegetation. In a heartbeat, he was off his snowshoes and flailing in head-high brush. To get back onto his snowshoes he, unthinking, used his shotgun as a walking stick, putting his right hand over the muzzles and leaning on it. At some point, some of the brush either pushed the hammer onto the firing pin or tripped a trigger and blew off half his right hand.

He lived, but only by a hair's breadth. I passed on the shotgun, BTW.

The other incident was where someone was hunting waterfowl with an A5 in very cold weather and had a failure to cycle. So, he tried to work the barrel and wound up looking down it when it fired.

In prior days, when someone offing himself with a gun was not grist for the political mill, it was common to attribute self-inflicted firearm deaths to accidents or negligence, either while cleaning or hunting. That was as much as anything to assuage the familial grief by not piling on. Since such deaths usually happened while the deceased was alone, there was no way of really knowing what had happened.

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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:52 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Posts: 1636
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa

DaveinMaine,

I understand your point about how the accidental deaths were handled and I believe you are correct, especially where it concerns the family. This particular incident however may not have been just an accident. If the son gave different accounts of what happened at different times, the accident scenario comes into question.

Davis was a renowned wing shooting sportsman and the probability of such a man looking down the barrel of a loaded shotgun is pretty slim, and the probability of C&W Scott building a double gun with faulty triggers is not very likely either.

On the other hand there is absolutely no real evidence that the son murdered his father. Many sons and fathers argue about life, this point was brought up by some of the neighbors as an incident that happened the night before Davis's death, and dismissed by the investigator.

This incident was determined to be an accident, nobody knows just how the accident actually occurred however.

Having grown up in a family who's tradition is wing shooting Grouse & Woodcock, gun safety is drilled into us from childhood. It is not unheard of for a gun to go off during a fall however, men have definitely been killed from it.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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